Socialist Worker

Deaths in custody in France as police target black people

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2702

Police in France

Police in France (Pic: Rama/Wikimedia commons)

In just a week from 8 April, five people died after contact with French police imposing lockdown restrictions. Three others have been seriously injured.

The Rebellyon website says Mohammed, a homeless man, died at the Beziers police station after being arrested by municipal police for “noncompliance with the curfew”.

At least one of the officers sat on the man lying face down and handcuffed him in the car. In La Courneuve Park, which is presently closed, on the edge of Paris a young man of Afghan origin was spotted by mounted police. They alleged he was holding a knife and had attacked a horse.

They shot him dead.

Police have carried out 15.5 million stops and administered 915,000 fines. People from Arab and African backgrounds have been targeted.

The racism and violence of the police has seen rioting in parts of Paris and other cities, which has been denounced by establishment politicians. Police have also targeted activists.

In Caen, the municipal police came to a home to remove a banner with an anti-austerity message.

The house occupant faced interrogation.

In Marseille a banner criticising unequal access to tests led to a house search.

And in Toulouse police removed a banner saying, “Macronavirus, when will it be over”—a reference to French president Emmanuel Macron.

The owner was arrested and charged with contempt of the head of state.

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